A choir of grumpy old men?

Sadly for the blossom trees (and the little birdies in their nests) huge winds are forecast this week. Parts of my garden are remarkably sheltered, never-the-less. But it's the noise that sends me inside, imaginary tail between legs. The wind sounds like a choir of grumpy old men who can't stay in tune, and just keep on and on, moaning one minute, roaring the next.

Sunday 4th October

They could gust up to 160km per hour. This is the strength with which next-door's pine plantation came crashing down over our property in September 2013. Aargh!

 Please wind - not to blow all the blossom off!
The Big Flowering Cherry Tree

So far today I've filled the wheel-barrow twice and dumped the stuff underneath the hedge. An Escallonia in the Rockery was (oddly) sulking, so I've chopped it down to the ground. Non-Gardening Partner has mowed the lawns over the water race, so one of my next tasks is to trim the edges. Right. A trot with the camera is in order - hope I don't see too many places needing gardening attention. I bet I will!


I worked hard weeding, and then I re-routed a path. I am getting a new washing line, a groovy retro circular one, and it's going in a sunnier place. Ducking and diving underneath overhanging trees past huge limbs of a Banksia rose while balancing a laundry basket is NOT a good idea! I can't move the trees, nor do I want to chop down the rose, so the path shifts instead.

But then the wind roared into action, so I came inside, hoping that the blossom and the birdies would be OK.

Monday 5th October

Phew! All is calm, and the big blossom tree hasn't yet been too badly battered. There are a few chunky tree branches down in the Hump. Yet more firewood for yet another winter - oh joy! I've already done some work in the glasshouse and I'm about to deal to the following :

  1. Clear a path - the one behind the pond.
  2. Weed a garden - the one by the cottage.
  3. Do some more seeds.
  4. Start some cuttings of sage, pelargonuims, and daisies.
 The biggest rhododendron in my garden.
Big Pink Rhododendron

Off I go. The challenges of a windy spring garden! One day there are tulips, next day they've blown open and half the petals are gone. My romantic idea for a row of blossom trees down the driveway has been blown open, too. It looked so pretty in my mind!

Tuesday 6th October

Am inside for lunch, on an extremely hot spring day. I have started a watering regime, and am shifting the hoses every hour, and bucketing water onto plants that need it the most. Me! Me! Over here!

So far today I've done interesting, random things. Like dig out a sulking rhododendron (late flowering, blue-purple) from behind the Stables, replant it by the water, dump top soil around it, water it well, and rebuild the stone wall in front of it. A nice neat gardening story with, for once, a beginning, middle, and an ending.

This weather is ominous - gale force nor-westers are blowing like crazy further inland, yet here the air is totally still. But that wind could start up at any time. I need to get back outside before any such unpleasantness.

 A weeping cherry in the driveway.
Another Blossom Tree

Much Later

I've been watering, testing my patience with the hand-held hose, giving each of the Viburnums and Pittosporums by the boundary a decent drink. I remind myself that this garden is less than two years old, and used to be hopelessly dry and shady from next-door's pine trees. I also remind myself that I want my little shrubs to be happy, to bush out and block next-door's mess. I do not want to borrow this particular view.

Now I've moved the hose onto the deciduous Azaleas, just across the driveway, and when it gets cooler I'll go back and move it again. The nicest thing has happened, too, a gentle reminder of the benefits of hand-held hosing. I've found one variegated purple flowering Honesty, a rough-tough and welcome plant that I thought was lost. Yippee - just one! I'll tie a ribbon on it for future collection of seeds.

My goodness it's hot. Before I fizzle (or sizzle) out, here's what's happening in the garden right now. The double Kerria is almost in full flower. The biggest pink rhododendron in Middle Garden is blooming. More and more Gunnera leaves are unfurling along the water race. More and more Bergenias are flowering, as is another blossom tree (the weeping Silver Pear). There are lots of blue Muscari, and the Euphorbias look beautifully fresh with their lime green bracts. And I mustn't forget the big pink Camellia near Pond Cottage called 'Gay Baby'.

 Always messy.
Red Tulips

I mustn't take any of these beautiful things for granted. And the first roses (Banksia lutea, Canary Bird) will be flowering soon. Earlier today I spied and sprayed my first rose aphid colony. Aargh! Molto accelerando!

Wednesday 7th October

I'm so sorry. The wind is battering my garden today. Everything looks sad and wilty. There's blossom snow on the driveway lawn. I've got two hoses going, still watering the shrubs the Driveway Garden. The grumpy old men just won't let up, and the noise makes me a bit cross - it's so intrusive. Hope the wee birdies have built secure nests. How awful to survive the winter, enjoying bird feeders and avoiding six greedy cats, just to have ones feathery hopes blown away, whoosh, just like that...